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Author Topic: California/Kentucky Custody battle for my 9 month old, advice please?  (Read 4695 times)


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California Law

I am going through a very difficult custody battle with my ex and need some opinions from the outside that arent tainted by our emotions. I really need some thoughts on what you all think would be a healthy visitation schedule for my son, or what you have seen as "average" I will try to only write what I feel is important for you to know but please forgive me if I am too detailed. This has been one of the hardest things I have ever been through and I am looking for a little bit of advice so here is the story;

My son is currently 9 months old and still fully breastfed.
I work from home so I can provide for him and also be here for him 24/7.
The father and I where never married and we broke up a month after I found out I was pregnant.
We agreed on splitting travel cost 50/50 but as far as visitation we have agreed on nothing.
I live in Kentucky and he now lives in California.

The father and I met at the university here in Kentucky. We dated in Kentucky and broke up about a month after I found out I was pregnant. He moved/left Kentucky and went to California when I was about 7 months pregnant. The only reason my son was born in California was because I went there a month prior to giving birth to be with family because I was scared to give birth all alone. Then after my son was born, I came back to kentucky (where my house and all my stuff was. ) I have been living and paying taxes in Kentucky for the past 4 years. The only factor that changes the fact that Kentucky is our home is the action was filed in California where my son was also born so we will be going off California Law.

My sons father came back to Kentucky around when my son was 1 month old and then left back to California again when my son was about 4 months old.
My sons father saw our son during that period for 2 hour visits about 15 different times (from the time our son was 1 month to 4 months) and hasnt seen him since. Ive offered for him the opportunity to call our son so that he could stay familiar with his voice or do video/skype with him, ive also offered to fly out there to him so that he could see our son or to allow him to fly here and see our son. He refused all of these things because his NEW wife wont allow it.

During the pregnancy he stated he wanted nothing to do with our baby to be, then changed his mind after seeing him. I thought the indecisiveness would have stopped after he seen our beautiful son but since then he has told me he wanted nothing to do with our son as long as I drop the child support case 7 times (all of which I have documented proof of) after each time of him saying that he wants nothing to do with our son a few days later he changes his mind then threatens to take custody of him. This has caused me so much stress, its almost like a game, several times hes told me "you win, you keep him" I cant help but think "win? this isnt a game of chess, my son is the main person who will be affected by our choices" Well guess what, he is back to wanting max time with our son. Please, dont get me wrong here. I dont want my son to be with out a father, as much as I dislike my babies father, I love my son a million times more and will always place whats best for him above my feelings/wants/needs.

We both have lawyers and court is coming up soon. We did mediation a couple days ago and agreed on nothing. As far as support so far the father has bought our son two outfits, paid no child support or medical bills/coverage.
Also, neither of us has ever had any drug/alcohol problems, abuse or legal issues so it is fair to say that we are both capable of taking care of a child.

The father wants straight 10 day visits monthly and he wants them to start next month. I feel like that is way too much for my son at such a young age and right off the bat.
He wants to fly here to pick him up and take him there and I fly there after the ten days are up to pick him up and bring our son home.
-First of all he has never been away from me for more than 4 hours, (so id like to do gradual step up visitation)
-secondly he hast had any contact with his father in 5 months  (so my son needs to slowly get use to him again)
-thirdly he is still breastfeeding (which at minimum id like to do for 12 month)
-fourth Its over 2000 miles apart (which I feel is far for an infant to be away especially for such long periods)
-and last, his father works from 3am to 6pm so even if my son was there for 10 days he would only be able to see his dad on his days off and for 2 hours before bed our sons bedtime. My sons father also stated that his new wife would watch the baby during his work days (the same wife who wouldnt let him contact our son in anyway) (and no im not saying I dont want her around my son, i am simply saying that to me it doesnt make sense for my son to be away from me his mother just to spend all this time with someone whom isnt even related to him)

Id like to do a step up visitation where each visit we can increase a little bit more and more and my wish (which I realize I wont get everything I want)
is to be able to wait to start that until our son is 12 months so that I can have the full 12 months breastfeeding. And maybe from now til then his father could fly out here and see our son for a 3 day visit where he only gets him during the day like 8am-6pm and I can pump milk so that our so can slowly get use to him again. I dont know if I am totally off from reality on this, ive never been through a custody battle and I dont know anyone who has either so I am stuck with no one to give me real advice. Im not trying to be all about "me" or all about the father, I truly want whats best for my son and I cant see him being able to handle 10 straight days at such a young age, im scared he will not handle it well seeing as how he has been with me 24/7 and is scared/shy of strangers new people and even family members he sees often, once a week or more like when he sees my grandparents.

I'm not sure how state to state custody cases usually work but what do you guys think? I need advice on what you guys think about visitation as far as what would be best for my baby. Im just so confused and scared please help!!!! Im so stressed and worried about this and my lawyer wants me to come up with an offer for visitation with in the next week. I need help please please please

This is such a long stressful process and the worst part is my son is the one who suffers from my ex and I's choices. I just pray we can come up with something so that my son can have a happy healthy normal life, as normal as possible :/
Sorry it is so long, I really appreciate any input. Help me with advise on what visitation plan to offer, I need it within a week.

Thank you and God Bless

Anna Wolf

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I am sooo sorry you are going thru this.  I am in the same situation.  You are totally right.  Slow and gradual. Minimal time away from you.  10 days away from you? Not until the child is well into school.  That is an eternity for him and would be sooo traumatizing.  It is work on the away parents part, but parenting is work.  Look up "attachment issues" and visitation.  The baby should not be traveling without you.  Prolonged away time like this would be soooo damaging to your critical attachment to your child.  You baby's "attachment" to his care giver is secure at this point (this is critical for the development of a healthy sense of self, self reliance, resilience and a healthy adulthood). Science backs what your intuition is telling you,  but unless you are careful could become insecure and effect his neurological development and future security within his adult relationships in the future.  I do not understand why your attorney is not helping you understand this and why your attorney is not recommending you file in the home state of the child because the child, the state that the child the child has lived for the last 6 months.  What is happening now?


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